December 12, 2006

EPA issues new methods to determine fuel economy estimates

Washington, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. is issuing new methods to determine the miles per gallon estimates that appear on new-vehicle window stickers. The new standards, which take effect for model-year 2008 vehicles, bring estimates closer to real-world use.

The new methods bring fuel estimates closer to consumers’ actual fuel use, by including factors such as high speeds, aggressive accelerations, air conditioning use and driving in cold temperatures. Currently, the EPA relies on data from two laboratory tests to determine the city and highway fuel economy estimates. The test methods for calculating these estimates were last revised in 1984.

The EPA is also enhancing the design and content of the window sticker, allowing consumers to make more informed decisions when comparing the fuel economy of new vehicles.

Also, for the first time, the EPA will be requiring fuel economy labeling of medium-duty vehicles, which are between 8,500 and 10,000 lbs (3,855 and 4,535 kg), including large sport-utility vehicles and vans. Manufacturers will be required to post fuel economy labels on these vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year.

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